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Dec 22, 2016

U.S. Stock Market Future Indications - December 22, 2016: Dow Futures in Holding Pattern Ahead of Rush of Economic Reports


Victor Reklaitis


U.S. stock futures on Thursday pointed to a muted open, as analysts suggested the post-election rally is catching its breath as the Christmas weekend approaches.

Investors are waiting for a raft of economic data due before the open that might jolt the market out of its pre-holiday lull.
S&P 500 futures  ESH7, -0.08%  edged down by 2.15 points, or 0.1%, to 2,258.25, while Dow Jones Industrial Average futures YMH7, -0.05%   inched lower by 13 points, or 0.1%, to 19,878. Nasdaq-100 futures NQH7, -0.08%  shed 7.25 points, or 0.2%, to 4,942.25.
On Wednesday, the S&P 500 SPX, -0.25% , Dow industrials DJIA, -0.16%  and Nasdaq Composite COMP, -0.23%  all closed between 0.1% and 0.2% lower, as the Dow failed again to climb above 20,000, a mark seen as psychologically important.
“With the DJIA flirting with the 20,000 level, we are reminded that millennium and century marks on major stock indices have traditionally acted like rusty doors, requiring several attempts before finally swinging open,” said Sam Stovall, CFRA’s chief investment strategist, in a note.
“Therefore, it should come as no surprise if stocks take a breather to digest recent gains,” he said.
See: As the Dow nears 20K, its ETF sees big inflows and trading
Economic docket: A third estimate on U.S. third-quarter economic growth is slated to hit at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time, with economists polled by MarketWatch forecasting expansion of 3.3%.
At that same time, investors are due to receive a reading on weekly jobless claims, with 258,00 claims expected, as well as a November report on durable-goods orders, with a decline of 4.8% anticipated.
At 10 a.m. Eastern, a November release on personal income, consumer spending and core inflation is on tap. Economists expect a 0.3% increase in income and spending, along with a 0.1% rise for the inflation figure.
Check out: MarketWatch’s Economic Calendar
Other markets: European stocks SXXP, -0.15% lost ground as Italian lender Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena SpA’s BMPS, -0.31%  eleventh-hour bid to raise capital looked set to fail, making a state bailout appear inevitable.
Oil futures CLG7, -0.48%  , gold futures GCG7, -0.17% and a key dollar index DXY, -0.07% were little changed. Asian markets finished mixed as stocks there hit pre-Christmas doldrums.
Individual movers: Shares in Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. BBBY, -1.39%  look poised for a down day after the retailer’s disappointing earnings and outlook late Wednesday.
Red Hat Inc.’s stock RHT, +0.50% also looks set to drop after the software company gave a weaker-than-expected outlook and said Chief Financial Officer Frank Calderoni is stepping down to accept a chief executive job at another company.
Chip maker Micron Technology Inc. MU, -0.34%  is poised for an up day after delivering better-than-anticipated earnings late Wednesday.
Packaged-foods giant Conagra Brands Inc. CAG, -0.60% and drugstore chain Rite Aid Corp. RAD, -1.63%  are among the companies expected to report quarterly earnings before the open.
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